The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) is recognized as one of the potential analogues in the geological record for present-day global warming. The mechanisms that trigger such climatic events are highly debated, but one possibility is a causal relationship with large-scale volcanic events, such as the North Atlantic Igneous Province (NAIP), which broadly coincided with the PETM.
This proposal focuses on NW Denmark, where a near-complete Paleocene-Eocene marine succession contains hundreds of volcanic ash layers as well as sedimentary units assigned to the PETM. Surface outcrops, although well-studied, are deformed and discontinuous, but previous drilling has demonstrated a complete succession in the subsurface. The proponents aim to drill and core two ~500 m deep holes in this area in order to recover the Paleocene-Eocene strata. The core material will be analyzed to understand stratigraphy and geochronology, volcanic proxies, tephrostratigraphy, paleoclimate and paleobiology, and weathering. The overarching research goal is to causally link the emplacement of the NAIP to the tectonic, climatic and biotic changes occurring at this time.